Students in schools stretching across the country — from Walnut Park Elementary in Smithers, B.C., to Whitbourne Elementary in Colinet, N.L. — sang to the same tune on Monday.

As part of Music Monday festivities, thousands of students performed Tomorrow is Coming, a new song written by Hamilton, Ont. folk-rocker Luke Doucet on Monday.

The optimistic song about keeping your self-esteem in the face of criticism was co-commissioned for the annual celebration by the CBC and the Coalition for Music Education, which works to raise awareness about the need for music education.  

Each of the hundreds of participating schools scheduled a performance by its students at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. in Vancouver and 2 p.m. in Halifax).

Among the events across the country:  

  • In Vancouver, students from six lower mainland schools sang in Robson Square, conducted by Bramwell Tovey of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
  • In Toronto, Jackie Richardson and Ron Sexsmith joined students at Sunnybrook School in a celebration of music.
  • In Ottawa, more than 500 local students and the NAC Orchestra Brass Quintet celebrated music education with a special 20-minute Music Monday performance.
  • More than 1,100 students in Sydney, N.S., marched to the Membertou Convention Centre to sing and hear a performance of Coal Town Road by the Barra MacNeils.

  • At Kullik Ilihakvik, in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, organizers staged a school-wide music day, with events to include guest musicians playing for students, drumming, dancing and throat-singing.

First held in 2005, Music Monday is celebrated on the first Monday of May each year. Students and teachers take their music programs into their communities and perform the same tune at a predetermined time so as to unite the entire country in song.

As well as celebrating the power of music, the events are fundraisers for schools that have difficulty supporting music programs.

Doucet's 2012 song Tomorrow is Coming is being released on iTunes as a fundraiser for the Coalition for Music Education. The singer-songwriter's recent credits include Steel City Trawler and Blood's Too Rich.

Astronaut and musician Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies frontman Ed Robertson have already signed up to co-write the official song for Music Monday 2013.